beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
And also the absence of motherhood in both series.

Spoilers for the Legend of Korra finale )
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
So, a week(ish?) ago, I happened to get into a fan discussion about Reborn!/KHR on Plurk. Now, all I know about the series is from friends, but it's about Tsuna, an unlikely Japanese schoolboy discovering he was the heir to a Mafia family and that it started as a gag comedy manga but the author eventually decided to try to plot something. One of the points of Tsuna's characterization was that he was a good kid who was determined to not compromise that even if he was the head of a Mafia family.

So my Plurk friend was ranting about how fans of the series were all 'Mafia = serious business' and therefore that the logical thing would be for the series to crush Tsuna's innocence until he had to act all ruthless and how a Mafia boss should act, rather than have the plot be about Tsuna's conflict between duty and idealism* and let that take it where it may.

I commented this is a lot like how some Avatar fans reacted to the end of Season 3 of Avatar: the Last Airbender.

Spoilers here! )

And I'm still going! )

* I mean, this isn't an uncommon theme, especially in shounen anime/manga. The protagonist is an idealist. Usually he has an ally or rival that is a pragmatist. When he confronts the antagonists, he has to choose if he wants to compromise his ideals for a better shot at winning, or try to stick to his guns and win.

Korra!

May. 15th, 2012 10:07 am
beccastareyes: Image of boy (Sokka) looking flustered in front of a map.  Text: Gah! Presentation! (%^&*$!presentation)
So, um… thoughts! About Legend of Korra!

Spoilery thoughts! )
beccastareyes: Image of boy (Sokka) looking flustered in front of a map.  Text: Gah! Presentation! (%^&*$!presentation)
So, Comic Con had the first trailer for The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra*.

Spoilers for the trailer and interview )
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
This time I get epic A:tLA AU fanfic for my dreams. Probably because I decided against doing NaNo.

So, it's set sometime between when Toph shows up and Appa gets bison-napped.  )
beccastareyes: Image of spacecraft from PlanetES.  Text: One more word and I WILL turn this spaceship around and damn the delta-v (turn the ship around)
Day 27 - A pairing that you loved and ended up hating? Zuko/Katara

Well, actually I went from 'it could be interesting' to 'lordie, what now'?

A:tLA was pretty short on female characters in the first season. We got Katara, Yue, and a couple of one-episode badasses who later came back (Jun, Suki, Smellerbee...)*, while there were three major young men (Aang, Sokka, Zuko) and two older ones (Iroh and Zhao), plus the requisite arc characters and one-episode characters who later return. So, it's probably not surprising that Zuko/Katara became a ship, even if Zuko's only real scene with her was when he found her necklace and used it to track Aang. Most of Zuko's scenes were with Aang, Iroh and Zhao -- he barely seemed to notice Katara and Sokka besides 'the Avatar's friends'.

Then second season came around.  )

Right...

Sep. 28th, 2010 08:43 pm
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
Forgot that I did the art for this Avatar fic, which was a missing scene about Mai and Ty Lee in prison. (Genfic.)
beccastareyes: (discourage dreams)
Day 19 - A pairing you've rooted for since the beginning? Sokka/Suki
Well, it's not something I could truly root for since the beginning beginning since Suki isn't in the first episode, but I liked it when Suki showed up in Season 1, and was pleased as punch when she showed up again in Seasons 2 and 3.

Normally, I don't like the 'sexist is shown his errors by talented female', mostly because it rings false.  )
beccastareyes: (discourage dreams)
Day 17 - A pairing you thought would never work out, but did? Zuko/Mai

Or, rather, a pairing I thought could be badly executed so many ways during the show, but for which I was mostly satisfied with how it worked out.

Besides maybe Aang, Zuko went through the most character development throughout the series*. Hence my skepticism about romance, since it can be tricky enough to balance Zuko's changes within himself as well as extend this out to his this changes his relationships with other people.

Zuko is pretty much designated as the Ambiguous Antagonist from... well, at least as soon as we get his backstory from Iroh.  )
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
Teasing out an AU 'verse idea for Avatar: the Last Airbender. Gonna try to explain things so that non-AtLA fans can offer opinions as well, but there will be spoilers.

Season 2 Season Finale/Season 3 Mid-season Arc Spoilers )

So I guess that would probably work better. I don't know why I'm planning this, considering the state of my fanfic to-do list, but hey.

Random...

Jun. 11th, 2009 12:56 pm
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
So, I got the Spirit of the Century RPG book, which uses the FATE system. (Interesting, and I might do a post on things like it that get away from some of the 'things we think we know about tabletop games'). Anyway, SotC models 'pulp' action stories -- weird science, a bit of mysticism, and a lot of action. One thing of note is that it has three combat skills -- Fists (Unarmed), (Melee/Thrown) Weapons and Guns (also used for bows and other ranged weapons). The game writer notes that all three have their advantages -- fists can't be taken away, melee weapons can be thrown or have extended reach, and guns have great range. They also have their disadvantages -- fists are limited range, guns and weapons can be taken away, and Guns cannot be used as a defensive skill. But things like damage are set by the skill roles, not by the weapon. Which works for settings where swords really do beat guns if you are awesome enough. (There are optional rules online for making Guns more deadly. You can also take stunts to make a character more of a bad-ass martial artist/brawler/weaponsmaster/gun bunny/etc. or to give them Future!Tech or a Legendary weapon or whatever, but again, those are character-specific things)

Which got me thinking about adapting SotC to handle a higher-magic setting than the default one -- Evil Hat has the rights to the Dresden Files RPG, and there are fanmade magic systems. Which got me thinking about the fantasy worlds I favor, like Avatar or Slayers, where the non-magic cast are just as bad-ass as the magic cast. Some of it in Slayers is that Gourry carried a magic sword, but against 'normal' opponents, he didn't especially need it -- the magic mostly seems to counter creatures not harmed by physical weaponry. (TRY did a bad job of handling this, but Revolution showed this well. Even when Gourry is captured, and his normal sword is removed, it took him only one 'grab for sword he didn't have' to get into 'defend Lina though unarmed stuff' and only ran into problems when a deadly swordswoman and magic-using assassin showed up. For that matter, he was able to hold his own in a swordfight against a foe with superior armor with an improvised weapon Lina made for him out of stone.) And in Avatar, characters like Mai, Ty Lee, Sokka and Suki (or, for that matter, Pian Dao) are all shown to lend their own skills to fights and hold their own against normal opponents, even benders.)

It's not quite about power, unless you consider different types of power. Pretty much, the old Justice League debate. Characters like Superman has a lot of innate superpowers. Batman has a lot of resources and contacts, and is at the high end of human ability in both smarts and brawn -- all of it is 'mundane', just exceptional -- so he can use planning plus 'stuff' to hold his own in an organization of Supers. One doesn't feel like Batman is a token member of any group of Supers he's in, or exists only to fund the group -- he gets his chances to be awesome, even if he can't punch through safes or fly.

I guess it's a fondness for a world where magic is Cool, but there are many ways to be Cool. You can be an amazing swordsman, or a deadly knife-thrower, or a martial artist able to disable with a single blow.

(For that matter, one of the Dresden File RPG development blog posts points out that Murphy might be a normal mortal, but she's got her own resources and skills that make her just as important to the plot as, say, Michael (a holy knight) or Molly (an apprentice wizard) or Thomas (an incubus) or the Alphas (weres).)

Random...

Jun. 11th, 2009 12:55 pm
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
So, I got the Spirit of the Century RPG book, which uses the FATE system. (Interesting, and I might do a post on things like it that get away from some of the 'things we think we know about tabletop games'). Anyway, SotC models 'pulp' action stories -- weird science, a bit of mysticism, and a lot of action. One thing of note is that it has three combat skills -- Fists (Unarmed), (Melee/Thrown) Weapons and Guns (also used for bows and other ranged weapons). The game writer notes that all three have their advantages -- fists can't be taken away, melee weapons can be thrown or have extended reach, and guns have great range. They also have their disadvantages -- fists are limited range, guns and weapons can be taken away, and Guns cannot be used as a defensive skill. But things like damage are set by the skill roles, not by the weapon. Which works for settings where swords really do beat guns if you are awesome enough. (There are optional rules online for making Guns more deadly. You can also take stunts to make a character more of a bad-ass martial artist/brawler/weaponsmaster/gun bunny/etc. or to give them Future!Tech or a Legendary weapon or whatever, but again, those are character-specific things)

Which got me thinking about adapting SotC to handle a higher-magic setting than the default one -- Evil Hat has the rights to the Dresden Files RPG, and there are fanmade magic systems. Which got me thinking about the fantasy worlds I favor, like Avatar or Slayers, where the non-magic cast are just as bad-ass as the magic cast. Some of it in Slayers is that Gourry carried a magic sword, but against 'normal' opponents, he didn't especially need it -- the magic mostly seems to counter creatures not harmed by physical weaponry. (TRY did a bad job of handling this, but Revolution showed this well. Even when Gourry is captured, and his normal sword is removed, it took him only one 'grab for sword he didn't have' to get into 'defend Lina though unarmed stuff' and only ran into problems when a deadly swordswoman and magic-using assassin showed up. For that matter, he was able to hold his own in a swordfight against a foe with superior armor with an improvised weapon Lina made for him out of stone.) And in Avatar, characters like Mai, Ty Lee, Sokka and Suki (or, for that matter, Pian Dao) are all shown to lend their own skills to fights and hold their own against normal opponents, even benders.)

It's not quite about power, unless you consider different types of power. Pretty much, the old Justice League debate. Characters like Superman has a lot of innate superpowers. Batman has a lot of resources and contacts, and is at the high end of human ability in both smarts and brawn -- all of it is 'mundane', just exceptional -- so he can use planning plus 'stuff' to hold his own in an organization of Supers. One doesn't feel like Batman is a token member of any group of Supers he's in, or exists only to fund the group -- he gets his chances to be awesome, even if he can't punch through safes or fly.

I guess it's a fondness for a world where magic is Cool, but there are many ways to be Cool. You can be an amazing swordsman, or a deadly knife-thrower, or a martial artist able to disable with a single blow.

(For that matter, one of the Dresden File RPG development blog posts points out that Murphy might be a normal mortal, but she's got her own resources and skills that make her just as important to the plot as, say, Michael (a holy knight) or Molly (an apprentice wizard) or Thomas (an incubus) or the Alphas (weres).)
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (trying_patience)
When Season 2 of Avatar was coming out, I found out that the original voice actor for Uncle Iroh had passed away. People linked his obituary, and I learned something about filming.

Mako Iwamatsu voiced Uncle Iroh, but that was just one role of many. He arrived in the USA post World War II and had his first role in acting in 1959. Back then, the roles for Asian actors were pretty limited (much moreso than now) and pretty heavily stereotyped. Mako was one of the people who both was able to do amazing things with what he had and to organize other Asian-American actors to promote better parts than 'stereotypical Chinese lackey' and 'enemy WWII soldier'. Later in his life, he did voice acting, including the role of Uncle Iroh. It was very interesting to find out this bit of movie history, just because it happened that he had done a role in something I had watched.

(For that matter, Iroh was the first character to catch my eye in Avatar, followed by Sokka. Zuko was all 'I am either going to hate you or love you', Aang took a bit to warm up to, and I kept watching Katara for signs she'd turn into The Chick (tvtropes link). Had I known that the second season was actually going to give us more than one major female character, I might have been less suspicious.)

One of the other things I enjoyed about Avatar was the fact it was a non-Western fantasy world, and the cultural aspects actually were more than skin deep. Normally, it seems like I have to go to anime (where you get romantic versions of medieval Japan or China as much as you get Fantasyland) for this.

Anyway, the reason I mention this is because casting was leaked for the live-action version of Avatar. I had a pretty low bar set: try to get people of Asian descent for Aang, Zuko and Iroh, and get dark-skinned actors for Sokka and Katara. (Goodness knows that Hollywood seems to have an issue with "all people who aren't African, Caucasian, or East Asian are Interchangeable 'Ethnic' People". ) It is good to see that Hollywood is quite capable of smacking their heads into the bar, no matter how low I set it.

Half of fandom already has a problem with the fact Sokka and Katara have darker skin -- seriously, fanartists. We don't need to know that the pros are doing it too.
beccastareyes: Image of woman reading.  Text: hopeless bookworm (bookworm)
So, as part of my NaNo prep, I've sworn off SF for the month of October, so that I don't get too much genre leakage as I write. Still reading, just trying not to read anything that will subconsciously take up residence in my brain and come out later. I'm already worried that reading Accelerando fudged things up.

Also, I need a beta reader for a piece of Avatar: the Last Airbender fanfic I wrote. It's Aang-centric and has Katara/Aang, but that's not the focus of the plot.
beccastareyes: Image of woman reading.  Text: hopeless bookworm (bookworm)
SO, I just had this realization, brought to you by reading the comments of Mem's rant on why she loves Aang from Avatar and hates Avatar fandom.

Aang from Avatar is so Luke Skywalker, and this actually makes the Star Wars prequels make sense. (Also, dead Joseph Campbell can just shut up)

It's late, and this is probably full of crack )
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
Well, I've finally finished Avatar.

I have no coherent comments, so you'll have to do with squeeing. Just imagine one of Sokka's incoherent expressions of emotion.

^_________^
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
So, yesterday someone in the Borders manga aisle asked me out of nowhere if it was true that Japanese was read backward -- her boyfriend/male friend/brother/some guy had just told her this and she didn't believe him. I also managed to ride on the same bus to the mall as two people I know. Yeah, Ithaca isn't that big, and I live on the downtown-mall bus route (at least on weekends -- the route changes on weekends to better swing by all the dorms instead of the part of campus with the classrooms. As a result, the bus stop where I live moves about a block.)

I had more thoughts, but I can't think of them. D&D continues to be fun. Dave is talking about running a one-shot of Paranoia, and I am temped to see how obnoxiously perky I can be while playing Paranoia.

I missed the Avatar finale tonight, but will catch it tomorrow.
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
So, when I was a middle schooler, I was a big Star Trek Deep Space Nine fan. And, well, one thing lead to another, and the series had to introduce a character, Ezri Dax, in the final season. So, the series writers had to concentrate on finishing up all the story arcs, and fleshing out Ezri's personality. It was... less than ideal.

Cut for great justice! And also spoilers )

I'll try to catch Ember Island Players in the morning. I'm playing D&D during the finale, but I have to rely on iTunes anyway (no cable) -- with luck, the finale will be in my inbox Sunday morning. If not... I shall have to resort to alternate methods. Arr.
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (geek_at_work)
So, I saw a post on the Avatar community on LJ discussing Toph's parents. For those of you who haven't seen the show, Toph is a blind terrakinetic (earthbending) 12-year-old girl who can see using vibrations through the earth. We also first meet her competing in an earthbending tournament that is a slightly less staged version of pro wrestling, which she wins. (At least, until Aang shows up -- since he can hover, she can't see to hit him. This earned him the nickname of 'Twinkletoes' from her.)

Essay is essay-like )

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